Swift and Lola step into the IndyCar chassis soap opera
The Swift concept 33 It should be called the Indy Mach 5 because it looks like a single-seater version of the classic cartoon Speed Racer Mach 5.
Lola and Swift today announced their own respective bids to secure the 2012 IndyCar chassis deal. They each issued a release that aims to address the issues and requirements for the new car, in an effort to be considered for the contract. As we talked about the Lola proposal in an earlier news post we will discuss the Swift proposal and design here. In this detailed PDF file, Swift details several concepts, from a design that is rather conservative and looks a lot like the current Atlantic car, to a completely radical design.
Swift certainly has a long and successful history of making top notch formula cars. Their design does incorporate some different approaches to these problems, such as air delivery to a trailing car and other factors.
Swift is also an American company that makes their cars right here in the USA. So meeting that requirement would not be an issue. Dallara and Lola would be changing their business to bring the manufacturing of their car to the USA, whereas it should be a bit of a consideration to award the program to a company that has made its business here in the USA. If there were no IndyCar proposition for Dallara, it is doubtful they would be basing any production of their cars in the USA, and likewise, doubtful they would continue to do so after it's gone.
As for the car design, it looks like this is at least as good as the others, and does have some key points that are unique, including a diffuser treatment that modifies the mushroom shaped airflow to a trailing car, creating a nearly equivalent amount of down force as the leading car.
The Swift design also has one feature we found somewhat interesting, though unsure of what to make of it as yet. They have a unique type of strip lighting that would be able to convey all kinds of info to the viewer, such as brake and throttle position, running order position, fuel level, and we imagine push-to-pass would be in there as well. However, at the speed that IndyCars travel, we are unsure that the live viewer would be able to see this. It would likely work well for television viewing though, especially with an HD broadcast.
All of this seems to point to one thing for sure. If you aren't going to use the Delta Wing concept (as this would have to be a spec chassis we imagine) open up the chassis rules for multiple manufacturers again. Define some sort of measure or test for a design that addresses trailing airflow and let the manufacturers and teams have at it.
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